Scientific Paper Described as ‘Inspiring’ for Forest Managers and Research Scientists Wins 2018 Silvicultural Prize

Dr Christel C. Kern

Forest managers and research scientists, wherever they work around the world, are set to be inspired by the winning scientific paper of the 2018 Silvicultural Prize awarded by the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF).

The Percy Stubbs and John Bolton King and Edward Garfitt Prize for Silviculture is awarded annually for work advancing the sector’s knowledge of silviculture published in the Institute’s prestigious journal Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research.

The 2018 award winner, Dr Christel C. Kern, a research forester with the US Forest Service based in Wisconsin, paid tribute to her co-authors who worked on the research paper titled: Challenges Facing Gap-based Silviculture and Possible Solutions for Mesic Northern Forests in North America.

“This is an honour. I want to recognise my co-authors as it was truly a group effort to craft this paper. We were interested to summarise current research and then propose both practical and state-of-knowledge advancements for sustainable forest management. We are pleased with the recognition,” she said.

The paper says that managing variability in canopy structure, light environments, habitat conditions and scales will be a formidable challenge, particularly in terms of the expectations of commodity-driven forestry. It concludes that staying true to the origins of silvicultural approaches in terms of maintaining a diverse mix of tree species will increase the potential for long term ecosystem resilience and economic sustainability.

Dr Gary Kerr, Editor-in-Chief of Forestry, said: “Reading this paper will inform and inspire forest managers and research scientists wherever they work, despite being focussed on northern forests in North America. I was delighted that the authors chose to publish the paper in Forestry because we welcome papers that take an integrated approach to the sustainable management of forests.

“This review of gap-based silviculture is distinctly different to previous studies and reviews and clearly focusses on implementation and the desired outcomes of gap-based management. I would advise everyone to put this paper at the top of their reading list.”

The 2018 Silvicultural Prize winning paper is available to read in full:



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